April 05, 20171234567RHE
Win: Littlejohn (14-1) 7.0300114
Loss: JORDAN (17-6) 6.095455
HIGGINS (LIP) 301000
GREEN (LIP) 201000
Runyon (UA) 402200
Grantham (UA) 302100
Dykes (UA) 312000
Softball facing Alabama at neutral site
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
By Mark McGee
Softball facing Alabama at neutral site

FLORENCE, Ala. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons anticipate seeing more Crimson than Purple and Gold in the stands, but their game against nationally-ranked Alabama is technically being held at a neutral site.

“There will be a lot of crimson in the crowd,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “Alabama’s fans travel well. But it is going to be a fun game for us.

“This is a program we wouldn’t typically get to face during mid-week. We have a lot of respect for Alabama’s program.”

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Florence Sportsplex. Lipscomb is 27-10 overall. Alabama, ranked No. 11 and No. 12 based on different national polls, is 32-6.

This will be the eighth time Lipscomb has faced the Crimson Tide from the Southeastern Conference. Alabama holds a 6-1 series record. The last time the two teams faced each other was Feb. 22, 2015, a 6-1 win by Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

“We have some girls on our team who were recruited to play in the SEC so any time we can play an SEC team it is exciting for them,” Ryman said. “We are expecting a really great crowd. The City of Florence has done a tremendous job so far in putting this game on.

“We are excited. Alabama has a ton of tradition and a lot of experience in the World Series. We are coming in as the underdog, but this team has never backed down from a challenge. We are looking forward to it.”

The Lady Bisons were 2-1 for the weekend at Jacksonville and suffered their first shutout of the season 1-0 on Sunday.

“We were able to pull two games out which was a positive for the weekend and we were able to win the series which was a huge positive,” Ryman said. “We need to have more quality at bats. We need to make sure we are executing in certain situations and taking advantage of opportunities.”

RPI: The Lady Bisons are ranked 42nd for the second week in a row in the RPI. Alabama is rated 12th.

“We will, hopefully, climb the ladder a little bit more as we move forward,” Ryman said. “I am proud of what our girls have done so far.”

Jordan rolling on: Mandy Jordan is ranked eighth nationally in NCAA Division I in both strikeouts (176) and shutouts (six). She is seventh in victories with 17.

She is 22nd with a 1.16 earned run average and 35th in strikeouts per seven innings with 9.5.

Jordan leads the conference in earned run average, innings pitched (145), batters struck out and batters struck out looking.

Jordan is second in opposing batting average (.191) and second in games started with 17.

Going with the Plo: Caitlin Plocheck is 17th in the nation in doubles with 12.

Plocheck leads the team in batting average (.349), hits (45), home runs (7), doubles (12), total bases (78) and slugging percentage (.605).

Plocheck is second in the ASUN in total bases (78) and doubles and is tied for second in home runs. She is tied for fourth in hits and is seventh in slugging percentage.

Peyton’s place on base: Peyton Ward is seventh in stolen bases in the ASUN with 17.

She leads the conference with eight sacrifice bunts.

Yay, team: Nationally, the Lady Bisons are 32nd in ERA (2.13), 35th in fielding percentage (.971) and 38th in won-loss percentage (.730).

Gibson is consistent: Kasey Gibson is eighth in the ASUN in hits with 44. She is tied for fourth in triples with three.

No doubt, it’s Thomas: McCarley Thomas is fifth in the ASUN in opposing batting average (.226) and batters struck out looking (26). She is tied for fifth in strikeouts with 91.

She is tied for seventh in wins with nine and tied for seventh in games started with 15.

She is 10th with a 2.57 ERA and innings pitched (87).